Sat, Aug 05, 2017 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AUSTRALIA

Cocaine haul seized

A massive haul of cocaine bound for Australia in the hull of a yacht has been intercepted by the French Navy in the Pacific Ocean, officials said yesterday. The 1.46 tonnes of the drug with an estimated street value of A$322 million (US$256 million) was seized in the South Pacific and four crewmembers, believed to be Lithuanian and Latvian nationals, were arrested, officials said. The vessel Afalina, which set sail from South America, was towed to Noumea in New Caledonia, a French territory. The Criminal Intelligence Commission said it was working with its international partners to probe “the Lithuanian syndicate” and pinpoint exactly where the drugs came from after the seizure last week. “We are thankful for the actions taken by French authorities, which has stopped a significant amount of drugs reaching the streets of Australia,” commission executive director of intelligence Col Blanch said.

JAPAN

Tortoise escapes again

The escapee is female, weighs 55kg and has a “gentle” disposition, but a history of running away. A zoo on Thursday said it was searching for its giant tortoise, which has escaped for the second time in less than two weeks. The reptile, measuring about 1m in length, was captured on security cameras as she wandered out of the main entrance of Shibukawa Animal Park in Okayama Prefecture on Tuesday morning, zoo staffer Yoshimi Yamane said. The tortoise “won’t immediately die, because it will eat grass available around the zoo, but we’re all very worried,” Yamane told reporters. “She’s quiet and gentle,” Yamane said, adding that the zoo has received no reports of sightings of the approximately 35-year-old tortoise. Tuesday’s escape was the second time in less than a fortnight that the fleet-footed reptile, which is allowed to walk freely inside the park during opening hours, fled the zoo. Yamane said it was found walking down the road 150m away from the zoo on July 21. “I spotted her on the way to the zoo. I stopped my car and asked my colleagues to help,” she said. “She can walk faster than we can ever imagine.”

AFGHANISTAN

Bomber reported in burqa

An official said that a suicide bomber who hit a NATO patrol, killing one service member and two Afghan civilians, had hid behind the all-enveloping women’s garment known as a burqa. Qarabagh District Governor Abdul Sami Sharifi yesterday said that the attacker was riding a motorcycle. The bomber rammed his motorcycle into a NATO patrol late the previous night, Sharifi said. The US military in Afghanistan reported the death of the coalition member, but not identify the soldier’s nationality.

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